Written by Nicole Counts
Like "Training Day," "Safe House" is a crime drama where Denzel Washington is being guarded by a subordinate cop played by Ryan Reynolds. Denzel Washington, as Tobin Frost meets Ryan Reynolds, as Matt Weston, when a CIA Safe House is invaded by non-CIA operatives in South Africa. Through different scenes and series of bloody brawls the stories characters are forced to see beyond the surface and face truths that will diminish their views.
While a gang of bad guys and the CIA are all looking for one person, Tobin Frost, aka Mr. Washington, Reynolds is forced to save him and capture him all at the same time. By doing this, of course there are an excess amount of bloody brawls that attempt to surprise the viewer.
At the CIA headquarters in Virginia, US, the CIA's handlers are trying to "fix" everything going on in South Africa. The parts in America are all very terribly cliche, most recently like Washington's, "Unstoppable," where the frantic control room is nothing we have not seen before.
Washington's honest performance is nothing short of exceptional. His raw emotions and serious undertone play into his corrupt character's presence in the movie. Ryan Reynolds boyish features surprisingly evoked sympathetic admiration for his character. His normal "likable average joe" roles are countered here by his ability to successfully play a junior agent turned bad ass.
The movie, even with two great leads, seems to lack depth. There is nothing new; nothing to make this movie stand on its own. It also relies on the excellency of Washington to not only draw viewers in, however to keep the plot afloat without crashing from an uniform crime drama. I am not sure if it is the writers who are depending too much on Washington's presences to make the movie, or if they were not confident enough to use their words to create the image of Washington, without saying it. The biggest example of this is describing Frost as an "expert manipulator of human assets," before giving him the ability to show this.
You won't regret seeing this, but could you wait for it to come out on DVD, or even possibly TV? Yes. Out of respect for the undeniable Denzel Washington, I'd probably only wait for the DVD.